In my mind, Thelma and Louise were in that car they drove off the cliff.
Two women, unhappy in life and love, bond over a cross-state road trip only to pull off the most epic exit from their perceived existence in arguably the greatest act of sisterly love cinema has ever shown us.
A business partnership can be much like that.
You started with nothing. Just an idea and a dream. You are achieving small successes along the way and you can feel the momentum building. You add a few employees, everyone seems to be sparking to their new roles and you look across the table and want to smack you partner upside his dome; not like a Cher in Moonstruck slap across the face of Nick Cage, I'm talking a DeNiro in Raging Bull kinda punch to the head.
For lawsuits and health reasons, I have created four things one must do to avoid this Brexit-type action to your business partner:
1. Be honest. Seems so simple, right? I have found, especially as I get older, that honesty IS always the best policy. Telling your partner how you feel when they hurt you and what displeases you about their actions, and what your expectations of them are, is always the best way to handle conflict.
"Look, I don't like that you show up at 10AM every day and act like nothing happened. May I talk to you about why that doesn't sit right with me?"
If the person looks you in the eye and continues to do the same actions, then you have a bigger problem. Hopefully, they will respect that you spoke up and were honest with them.
2. Get away. You don't need to do everything together. In fact, it is much healthier, if you don't. The ability to have separate lives is vital to a successful business partnership. It helps both of you recharge and come back stronger. It lets you miss each other's ideas; which is, presumably, the reason you two are partners in the first place.
3. Share the joy. When you have success, there is nothing like having someone to share it with that has been through the trenches with you. This has nothing to do with your significant other. They are there for support and love and cheering. But someone who has truly lived each and every milestone, and failure, along the journey truly understands the joy of your mutual successes. It is an amazing feeling to create something together and nurture it to fruition. Sharing the joy, just makes it all that sweeter.
4. Celebrate Each Other's Uniqueness. Presumably, you two got together because you each brought something to the table. If you are lucky, and like most partnerships, you each brought something very different; that difference, or uniqueness, is what makes you you and him who he is. These differences are what should be celebrated. Like life, if we were all the same and thought the same way, think how dull the world would be.
So, to avoid a Brexit-like disaster in your business partnership, you gotta be willing to drive off a cliff with someone. Sometimes the wheels land on dirt, sometimes the grill hits the bottom of the canyon. But there is nothing like it when it works.
This post originally appeared on The Whole Magilla and was written by Chris Meyer, co-founder of MagillaLoans.com.